Should You Give Your Employees Mental Health Days?

Employees Mental Health Days - Complete Controller

How Foreign Companies Take Care of the Mental Health of Employees

Companies began to give additional employees leave more often to combat professional burnout. The other day, Nike took a break from work. The sneaker and sportswear manufacturer organized an unscheduled week-long vacation for the entire office staff in late August. They advised subordinates to ignore work messages and responsibilities to maintain mental health. For example, the social network LinkedIn and the dating service Bumble took the same step. Download A Free Financial Toolkit

Kommersant FM talked to top managers and asked if they could release most of their employees from work for a week. The owner believes that seven days will not be enough to treat burnout: “No week of vacation can cure it. Employees need to be motivated by constant, interesting challenges and a good attitude. Giving additional leave with such motivation is unjustified. And so, you can burn out not professionally but generally in life. A person can come and say that he is just tired and ask for a week off. It’s possible; it’s normal.”

According to Vladimir Gurov, a member of the board of directors of the Bolshevichka Joint-Stock Company, vacations are primarily necessary for workers in creative professions. “Creative people, whose intellect must be sharpened all the time, should be allowed to rest so that they can restore their “instrument.” If a person burns out at routine work, this is one thing; these are losses. Here it is necessary to look at the load and find some countermeasures. And when it is not monotonous but creative, the purpose of which is to generate some ideas, it is necessary to give it a rest. And, of course, here we are not talking about losses but about gains.

Sergei Choban, the managing partner of the SPEECH Choban & Kuznetsov architectural bureau, believes that everything needs to be balanced. “Based on the psychological feeling, measured creatively oriented work is much more effective, in which there is no burnout because their creative people approach tasks smoothly. LastPass – Family or Org Password Vault

It is better than first, with tremendous pressure, to squeeze the last strength out of people, then send them on vacation, and then again raise them to some heroic work.

Using the example of my office, I can say that I sometimes leave work at 6:00 PM and am often the last one to leave. Arriving at 9:00 AM, I see that some come in later. 

According to Glassdoor, at the beginning of the year, about half of working Americans reported professional burnout. 

Often the situation in the team turns out to be worse than management thinks, mainly due to lack of communication; Vasily Pidgin, chairman of the community of organizational development consultants at TTISI, explains:

“People burn out in almost any company, but few people recognize this.”

The first criteria are objective working conditions, wages, and workload. The main block of problems is the management culture (if the manager does not suit me, I will leave) and corporate culture (relationships in the team). And the third cluster is development opportunities. Moreover, the leader and the climate are tactical problems that you can still somehow live with. And the question of development opportunities gives rise to complex thoughts about the practicality of further work in the organization. Exit Advisor It needs to be a topic of discussion, and the leader, not the employee, should initiate the conversation.”

HR experts note that you cannot solve the problem of burnout with one-time bonuses. It would be most effective to provide the employee more authority, explains ECOPSY Consulting partner Grigory Finkelstein: “They set up fitness clubs, feed them for free, and let them go home. I have not seen people seriously engaged in the enrichment of labor. Here is one example of how products were sold: people who distributed them between the European and Asian markets, negotiated with customers, and organized delivery. Everyone is caught between the demands of three neighbors and feels like they are doing a pointless job. How did they do? They divided the products not by market but by name, and one person became responsible for everything. Thus, he sees all his work from beginning to end. It became more accessible for people, and the company received much more money.

When management or improper work process organization is the leading cause of burnout, a quarter of respondents named vacation the best way to deal with it, and another 20% – a job change. In second place was the unhealthy atmosphere in the team.

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